U.S. Secretary Of State Recognizes Fatou Baldeh At 2024 International Women Of Courage Awards

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U.S. Secretary Of State Recognizes Fatou Baldeh At 2024 International Women Of Courage Awards
U.S. Secretary Of State Recognizes Fatou Baldeh At 2024 International Women Of Courage Awards

Africa-Press – Gambia. Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken, along with the First Lady of the United States, Dr. Jill Biden, will host the annual International Women of Courage (IWOC) Awards in an award ceremony at the White House and present awards to each of the twelve 2024 IWOC awardees, recognizing their exceptional courage, strength, and leadership. Fatou Baldeh will be honored for her work as a lifelong advocate for women’s rights and protecting women’s health and safety. Ms. Baldeh, who in 2019, was awarded a Member of the British Empire (MBE) for outstanding work in Scotland, will now receive one of the highest awards designated to women worldwide by the U.S. State Department. Ms. Baldeh documented women’s experiences during the Jammeh dictatorship, including murder, rape, forced labor, and witch hunts, where victims were tortured into giving false confessions. Her findings were essential to The Gambia’s Truth, Reconciliation, and Reparations Commission’s (TRRC) final report. Through her organization, Women in Liberation and Leadership (WILL), Ms. Baldeh tirelessly educates the public and private sectors about the health consequences of Female Genital Mutilation and Cutting (FGM/C) and human rights.

About the International Women of Courage Award

Now in its 18th year, the Secretary of State’s IWOC Award recognizes women from around the globe who have demonstrated exceptional courage and leadership in advocating for peace, justice, human rights, gender equity and equality, and women’s empowerment – often at great personal risk and sacrifice. Since March 2007, the Department of State has recognized more than 190 awardees from over 90 countries. U.S. diplomatic missions nominate one woman of courage from their respective host countries and finalists are selected and approved by senior Department officials.

Following the IWOC ceremony, Ms. Baldeh will participate in an exchange program, including both an International Visitor Leadership Program (IVLP) in Washington, D.C. and additional programming in Los Angeles, during which she will visit U.S. universities and non-profits, and engage with private sector contacts to share strategies and ideas to empower women and girls around the globe, in all their diversity.

The International Visitor Leadership Program (IVLP) is the U.S. Department of State’s premier professional exchange program. Through short-term visits to the United States, current and emerging foreign leaders in a variety of fields experience this country firsthand and cultivate lasting relationships with their American counterparts.

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